Merrill D. Smalley, 78, of Ankeny, formerly of North Liberty and Coralville, passed suddenly and unexpectedly on May 10, 2011, in Coralville. Memorial services were held May 15 at First United Methodist Church in North Liberty, with the Rev. Doug Williams officiating. Masonic memorial services were held May 14 at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City.
A memorial fund has been established in his memory to the DeGowin Blood Center at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, c/o University of Iowa Foundation.
Online condolences may be sent for his family through the Web at www.gayandciha.com.
Merrill was a caring and giving man, always hungry for new experiences. He was born in New Virginia, Iowa, on Oct. 27, 1932, the son of Richard and Newella Smalley. After graduating from New Virginia High School, Merrill attended Iowa State University and wrestled collegiately while participating in ROTC. After graduation from Iowa State University, Merrill served his country as an Army captain in the Southeast United States and in Europe. Merrill married Florine Mae Borton on Dec. 18, 1954, in Nevada, Iowa. Merrill and Florine raised their four children in the Iowa City area.
After obtaining his Juris Doctor degree at the University of Iowa, Merrill served his country for another 20 years as an attorney for the IRS. Following his retirement from the federal government, Merrill took on the challenge of the private practice of law in Cedar Rapids.
After his retirement from the practice of law, Merrill spent his time farming in the North Liberty area and continued to seek life’s experiences, traveling the world and this country with his wife Florine, extensively.
Following the passing of his wife, Florine, in 2003, he married Norma Thompson and they eventually resided in Ankeny.
Merrill was very involved with the community and was on the board of directors for various organizations, was deeply involved with the Masonic Lodge and a longtime member of the Coralville United Methodist Church.
He devoutly followed the Iowa Hawkeye men’s and women’s athletic teams wherever they competed. He enjoyed being a Master Gardener and volunteering to perform deliveries for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics DeGowin Blood Center and the Blood Center of Iowa in Des Moines. Merrill was also very proud that he was involved in helping to pioneer the development of ethanol production in Iowa. Merrill now begins his last and greatest adventure from this earth as he meets the Lord.
Merrill is survived by his wife, Norma (Thompson) Smalley of Ankeny; brother, Stan (Marsha) Smalley of San Ramone, Calif.; sons, David (Vickie) Smalley of Florence, Miss., Lowell Smalley of Pueblo, Colo., and Greg (Wendy) Smalley of Cedar Rapids; daughter, Diana (Jeff) Smalley Voyek of Steamboat Springs, Colo.; grandchildren, Sandra (Scott) Wangen of Florence, Miss., Dominique Smalley of Richland, Miss., and Brandon Smalley and Ryan Smalley of Iowa City; step-grandchildren, Corey Voyek, Tyson Voyek, Joe Zimmerman and Krista Fisher; and great-grandchildren, Katrina, Wesley, Sierra and Clarissa.
Merrill was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Newella Smalley; and wife, Florine Mae (Borton) Smalley.
Merrill will be missed by all who loved him and the many people he has helped over the many years in the local community.
Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service is caring for Merrill’s family and his services.